Coca-Cola Enterprises Beats

The bottler copes with a tough quarter, as bad weather contributes to slowing sales.
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Coca-Cola Enterprises

(CCE)

reported a near 25% decline in third-quarter profit, citing unfavorable weather and a "continuing decline in regular soft drinks," but still beat Wall Street expectations.

The bottler reported net income of $207 million, or 44 cents a share, vs. $259 million, or 56 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue slipped 1% to $4.7 billion.

The company forecast full-year 2004 EPS of $1.26 to $1.30, excluding a 5-cent item in its second quarter.

The consensus estimates are 38 cents and $1.26 a share, respectively.

"We faced challenging business conditions during the quarter in both North America and Europe, including a combination of a soft retail environment; cool, wet weather; and a continuing decline in regular soft drinks," the company said.

Shares ended at $ 18.89 yesterday, near their intraday 52-week low.